The problem with Alabama

So, Bill Connelly ($$) seeks to determine which program will, in his words, turn out to be the “next Clemson”.  By that, he means a program on the rise that finally cracks through the glass ceiling to become a playoff regular.  The club almost everyone else in D-1 seeks to join is pretty exclusive right now:  Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma.

As you might guess, Georgia tops his list.  To his credit, Bill acknowledges that it’s an awkward fit, to some extent:

Should this one even count? Like JT Daniels being the most likely Next Mac Jones for 2021, it’s almost too obvious a choice.

Kirby Smart’s Dawgs indeed made the national title game in 2017, their average SP+ rating is higher than OU’s, they’ve got the top-10 finishes mentioned above and the only team that has landed more ESPN 300 prospects than UGA over the past three years is Bama.

So, what’s the issue holding Georgia back?

Bama’s in the same league. And if the Crimson Tide aren’t in the way, a historically great LSU is (in 2019). Dan Mullen’s Florida was good enough to end the Dawgs’ three-year SEC East title streak in 2020 as well. Nick Saban’s success has distracted us from the fact that, for everyone else, it’s really hard to consistently stand out in the SEC.

And that’s the rub here.  Nobody in the club plays Alabama in the regular season.  In fact, three of those four tend to ease their way through a regular season with few serious roadblocks, if any.  (Hi there, Clemson!)

Perhaps the pundit class doing all these cusp pieces on Georgia’s postseason chances ought to change their analysis to include looking at the SECCG as a CFP entry game.

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UPDATE:  Just gonna put this smug take out there…

28 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

28 responses to “The problem with Alabama

  1. That’s the rub I have with the “I demand excellence” crowd. The SEC title game is a de facto quarterfinal. The winner makes it in. The loser doesn’t. That isn’t going to change. Just because a team loses that game doesn’t mean that they weren’t playoff worthy.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in a year when both division champions are undefeated and play an instant classic kind of game.

    Liked by 4 people

    • charlottedawg

      If we had entered the sec title game undefeated in 2017, 18 or 19 undefeated and lost a close game we would have been in the playoff. Georgia is the reason Georgia has only made the playoffs once, not alabama.

      Like

      • ‘17 – maybe (although we would have beaten Bama soundly in December)
        ‘18 – nope (3 conference champions and undefeated ND)
        ‘19 – nope (3 conference champions)

        Conference champions unless they have 2 losses get in over championship game losers. That’s the way it has always been.

        Like

  2. theotherdoug

    What happens to Clemson going forward if they lose to UGA and then Bama in the first round of the playoffs?

    Like

    • 86bone

      They will get to play Duke, Wake Forest, NC State, etc…

      Like

      • dawg100

        Those three are absolute JOKES:

        Duke: 2020 starting QB Chase Brice. Enters Portal
        Wake Forest: 2019 starting QB Jamie Newman. Enter Portal
        NC State: 2020 starting QB Bailey Hockman. Enters Portal

        Like

  3. Texas Dawg

    If you’re in the SEC, you pretty much have to play the national championship game in Atlanta to get out of the SEC and into the playoff only to have to play a second NC game to officially win it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stoopnagle

      “If you’re in the SEC, you pretty much have to play [Alabama] in Atlanta… only to have to play [Alabama] to officially win it all.”

      FIFY

      Liked by 2 people

  4. stoopnagle

    First, as we used to say on EDSBS, “Fuck Clemson.”

    Next, as heard ringing through downtown Athens on 12/1/18, “Fuck Bama.”

    Now that we have all of that out of the way, I think the next team to make regular playoff appearances that isn’t Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State or Oklahoma, is probably a team from the Pac 12. And it’s probably USC once they get their shit together; but if recruiting and media momentum is any indication, I’d give it to Oregon.

    Like

  5. The Truth

    I hope there is not a single member of the CFP committee who has an issue with putting a 1–loss UGA team who beat Clemson convincingly but lost a close one to Bama in the SECC in the playoff ahead of a 1-loss Clemson team who cruised to an All Cupcake Conference championship. In my most objective opinion that’s a no-brainer.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ASEF

    If Georgia beats Clemson, then it will be 2-0 against the non-Alabama club members. If Georgia beats Clemson and then somehow loses to Alabama in the SEC Championship, it will have a compelling case over Clemson should the Tigers run the table in the ACC.

    The SEC has produced 4 different national champions in the Saban Era. 3 different playoff participants. Clemson, Ohio State, and Oklahoma are perennials for the simple reason that those conferences have become one-trick ponies. Michigan and Texas just haven’t been competitive with their main rivals, and FSU/Miami have been determined to run their programs as clown shows for awhile now. It’s kind of ridiculous when an “elite program” like Oklahoma is on a 2-game losing streak to (checks notes) Kansas State. Oh, and after getting to the playoffs trailed Alabama and LSU at the half by a combined 80-24. Oh, and is 0-3 against the SEC in the playoffs. With, again, 1 of those losses to “outsider” Georgia.

    This is another problem with Playoffs! Riley has 3 playoff appearances. Day now has 2. I’d take Kirby over either of them, but that post-season spotlight really warps people’s perspectives. SEC teams face an uphill playoff path strewn with boulders. The others are basically a water slide.

    Liked by 9 people

    • rigger92

      In the same discussion, how does PedoST and Michigan get a free pass on managing to be lame? Who is out there saying “why are the top 3 teams in our conference OhioST, Wisconsin, and Indiana? Those damn Ohio people should be sweating two or three games/season just like we do.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Derek

    Fuck Larry Williams

    If dabo was in the sec his ass would have been fired long ago.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. charlottedawg

    Everyone here wanting to rag on the non alabama members of the playoff club (clemson and ohio state, oklahoma doesn’t count they’ve lost every playoff game they’ve been in and the only one in which they didn’t get blown out was against…… georgia) for easy schedules and “omg uga could do the same thing if it played in an easy conference!!!!” is completely ignoring the fact that those schools have done something UGA hasn’t (besides you know winning a national championship in 40 years): beat Nick saban led alabama. We’re not a member of the club and we need to get A LOT better to join it.

    Everyone who thinks clemson is going to be an automatic W is delusional. That program is what we’re trying to be, a win against them labor day would be the equivalent of a CFP victory.

    Like

    • ASEF

      Ohio State’s W over Saban was 7 years ago (2014). Oklahoma beat them the year prior (2013). Sure, one was in the playoffs and one was in a non-playoff Sugar Bowl, but that seems a rather arbitrary dividing line.

      I agree that a W for Georgia in Charlotte changes the narrative. However, it would leave Clemson on a 2-game losing streak, and really 3 game losing streak OOC, given that 2019 LSU was their last OOC appearance prior to this year’s playoffs. A portion of that narrative change unfortunately would be Dawgrading.

      One team can get blown out by Alabama, but it’s in the Playoffs, so it somehow doesn’t matter. Got the Playoffs, Program status: top tier. One team plays them as close as anyone, but it’s prior to the Playoffs, so… Program status: 2nd tier

      Liked by 3 people

    • Are you actually a Georgia fan and alum? You run down our football program and the university constantly.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    The SECCG is an entry game for the NCG for everybody except Bama which has won 2 natties without playing in or winning the SECCG. That’s a real problem. Not an even playing field.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Truth

      This is the club that everyone needs to beat the committee over the head with if they play the “Well, Clemson won their conference and UGA didn’t” in the event of a UGA victory over Clemson and loss to Bama. Why is Bama the only program exempt from the “Won The Conference” rule?

      Like

  10. dawgphan34

    It’s funny that so many UGA fans have talked themselves into believing that winning the SEC East is the same as making the playoffs.

    You can cheer for the team, have fun at the games and really support coach smart without lying to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If georgia looses any game outside of clemson, its a joke. If georgia gives us heart attacks and then the “a win is a win” crowd shows up, its a joke. We should freaking pile drive this entire season. Winning the East is just a thing to go play Alabama.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Darin Cochran

      I’m not sure who or what you’re referring too? Who is saying that winning the SEC East is the same as making the playoffs? All anyone, on here anyways, seems to be saying is that you have to beat Bama, which probably means winning the SEC title outright…unless of course you’re Saban Almighty, in which case, with the media’s lovefest for the Tide coupled with a bunch of whimpy-fied playoff committee people that are too scared to stand up to Saban and ESPN, can excuse the fact that they didn’t win the SEC West. JMHO

      Liked by 1 person

    • Winning the East gets you into a de facto quarterfinal. Is it the official “CFP”? No. Is it the only thing you can control in the regular season? Yes.

      Like

  11. stoopnagle

    If Dabo took over at UGA in 2008 and went 1-4 vs South Carolina and 1-4 vs Tech in his first five goes, he’d be a position coach somewhere right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stoopnagle

      …because unlike Clemson in 2009, Georgia has always had money. And patience for all but one thing: losing to tech.

      Like